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Left Archive: Leftline, Radical Analysis from the Irish Socialist Network, Irish Socialist Network, March 2006 August 16, 2021

Posted by leftarchivist in Uncategorized.

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This document from the Irish Socialist Network joins a number of others in the Archive, available here.

This particular edition leads with a piece by Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh writing about the issue of immigration from other EU member states. And Ó Cathasaigh notes:

A workers’ movement that really welcomed immigrant workers would be a very different movement indeed.

Just as the women once excluded from unions often turned out to be the best trade unionists, Irish workers could do with a shot in the arm from those Rabbitte wants to keep out.

The most militant part of the Irish working class last yearwas the Turkish part, the workers who fought Gama’s exploitation and SIPTU’s indifference.

There’s also a piece on the ‘Love Ulster’ Dublin Riots of that year which notes:

Journalist Susan McKay has been a lone voice reminding. people that its chief organiser Willie Frazer is an apologist for terrorism who is manipulating the suffering of northern Protestants to further his anti-democratic agenda. Frazer’s comments about loyalist paramilitaries (“they should never have been locked up in the first place”) haven’t been given much of an airing in the southern media.

Colm Breathnach reports on the Bin Tax protests and notes that:

With the issue languishing in the courts for months to come, popular resistance taking on the council across the city and an election in the offing, one thing is certain; the battles may rage but the war is far from over.

There’s also a piece on the Iraq War that concludes:

One clear lesson should stand out from the experience of the last three years: anyone who argues that US military power can be a force for good in the world should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve.


1. pettyburgess - August 16, 2021

It’s a pity that the ISN website is down and that little of their printed material is online. They were a generally positive influence on the wider left when they were around (not that I always thought so at the time!).

Reading Colm’s bin tax article with the benefit of hindsight there’s a lot that he was right about: further service charge type taxes were indeed on the way and the bin tax was indeed still a big local election issue. But the optimism about the strength of the remaining local non payment campaigns was misplaced. There’s not a whole lot I unreservedly agree with the Socialist Party on these days, but they were undoubtedly right that the fate of the non payment campaign would be essentially determined by the imposition of non-collection in Fingal. And that once the campaign there was beaten there was no prospect of similar levels of resistance elsewhere.

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WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2021

Think that you’re likely correct. But inside a campaign the emotion and sense of momentum can lead people to think otherwise.


Colm Breathnach - August 17, 2021

In hindsight Pb, you are right, it was over-optimistic. I can’t remember my thoughts then ( can hardly remember what I thought last week!) but I’m guessing, as with a lot of left publications, there was an element of factual analysis, combined with deliberate optimism to maintain morale.
Always a difficult balance – the danger of drifting into simplistic propaganda Vs forgetting that the purpose of political literature is to encourage struggle.

Funny thing is, despite our differences with the SP, the ISN worked much more closely with them than with other groups during the bin tax campaign, partly cos our main centre of activity in Finglas had a number of SP members whom we worked closely with, but also cos we broadly agreed with their strategy.

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